Adventurous bioethicists seem to be continually pushing back the frontiers of their discipline. The latest conquest, or at least challenge, is climate change
It used to be said that “the British Empire was acquired in a fit of absence of mind”. Similarly, adventurous bioethicists seem to be continually pushing back the frontiers of their discipline. The latest conquest, or at least challenge, is climate change. Writing in the journal Bioethics, Cheryl Cox Macpherson, of St George’s University School of Medicine, in Grenada, points out that climate change will harm public health systems and that bioethicists have a responsibility to warn policy makers.
“Bioethics could boost understanding of the benefits and harms; promote transparency about actions and policies that allow climate change to worsen; expose potential conflicts of interest that affect the conduct and interpretation of risk assessments; generate insights about sociocultural conditions that impinge on autonomy and worsen emissions; and ground new conceptions of social responsibility. At the very least, bioethics should inform and facilitate public and policy dialog about how climate change threatens health and things societies have valued for centuries.”
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